… While Montana Taxpayers get Fleeced
Iryan Lochesh Capitol Whispers April 15, 2019
Back in the times of the Great Depression, farm subsidies were created by the US government to support small family farms across America. The financial assistance was given in earnest, in order to keep farms functioning, and to afford the costs associated with producing food, agriculture and livestock alike.
This subsidy was set aside by the Congress in order to ensure a consistent supply of food for the country’s population, while the national economy was still reeling from the period’s great market crash.
Fast forward nearly one hundred years, and the farm subsidies seemingly serve a much different purpose. The majority of benefactors in our federal farm subsidy program are giant agribusinesses and huge corporations.
And, although the last century’s Congress did not intended to create a nuevo-riche class by creating the farm subsidy program, that is now the
The legislature at the time was simply trying to protect the food supply of our nation, and aid in the prevention of a total financial collapse across the country. The program was acting as a band-aid, needed to protect an economical supply interest, and prevent infection from the ill-fallen financial market.
Once the greater wound had healed, we, as a body-politic, should have ripped that band-aid off and continued forward; in, of course, the interest and iteration of true capitalism: the market system America adheres to as its namesake.
USDA has confirmed that subsidies overwhelmingly flow to wealthiest farmers, as shown in a study here
Now, in America’ mixed economic system, we see Congress continue to hand out large sums of money in “assistance” programs that, upon closer inspection, are going out to groups and individuals that are not, in any way, finding themselves in a true financial fiasco.
The current system in America moves money from the margins, taxing the already-narrow income amounts of the average or lower income individual, in order to re-appropriate it into the coffers of the chosen members of its corporatocracy class.
Taking the menial monies away from the masses,who could have used the cash to provide their families with more small comforts; gifting it instead to the hedge-funders and the trust-funders and the politician’s posse, all tax-free, and all under the guise of “needed assistance”.
The farm subsidy bill, once helpful and necessary, remains in our current times mostly as a re-appropriations channel; and, here in Montana, you’ll find the same statement to ring true. To exemplify this point, let’s take a look at Llewelyn Jones.
As the acting representative for District 18 in the Montana state legislature, and owner/proprietor of a multitude of businesses, is not an individual that anyone would tag as “needing a handout”. Him and his wife are listed as owners of over 17 different properties-including multiple homes, tracts of land in a number of counties, and a lakeside vacation condo.
His aforementioned businesses are often winners of various no-bid, and occasional bidded contracts, each deal bringing in a lucrative amount ranging in the thousands to multiple-tens of thousands of dollars. Yet, still, our state government has deemed Llew, and his wife, Carole Jones, to be in need of subsidy dollars.
Whether it be “conservation”, “disaster”, or “commodity” subsidies- like wool, wheat, livestock, and sheep meat subsidies- Llew and Carole have been collecting those taxpayer dollars for at least 22 years. In that span, the Jones’ average income from subsidies alone is $51,910 each year. That’s just $1,476 shy of a Montana family’s average annual income.
The running total for Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ subsidy income sits at $1,142,014 dollars, as of 2016. What a pretty penny put on the taxpayer’s bill! LLew Jones makes more per year off of USDA subsidies than an entire Montana family unit makes in that same span of time. How is this allowed to go on?